need advice (transferring back/financial aid packages)

<p>Hi,</p>

<p>I wasn't quite sure where to post this. Originally posted in the parents forum but it was suggested that I post here as well. I apologize if this is a bit confusing. </p>

<p>Currently I am a Junior (in standing) at a SUNY school upstate. I transferred to this school from another SUNY after my freshmen year. I am on a leave of absence from SUNY New Paltz while I have been attending SUNY Fredonia. While I am a junior in standing, I'm technically in my 4th semester of university. My estimated graduation date is for Fall 2012. </p>

<p>I have three semesters left and I'm not sure if I'd like to stay at my current school or return to my original school.</p>

<p>Part of the reason I transferred from my original school was to save money. My freshmen year I had an EFC of 0. My financial aid package was actually fairly decent. I only had about 6,000 in loans for my first year of university. When I recieved my award package for the 2010-2011 at New Paltz, I was concerned I'd be taking too many loans. My package for that year required more student loans and parent loans as well. In an attempt to save some money I decided to try another SUNY school closer to home with hopefully a better financial aid package. I did end up saving a bit more money attending another SUNY, but I'm not sure if I'm as satisfied (and the savings were not as extreme as I was led to believe).</p>

<p>Fast forwarding a year, I ended up attending SUNY Fredonia. While I like Fredonia, I'm not sure it's as good as a fit for me. Also, while Fredonia looks like it will be a bit cheaper than going back to New Paltz, I'm not sure it's worth the minimal savings I will have. </p>

<p>Here's a breakdown of the two financial aid packages:</p>

<p>New Paltz is offering me mostly loans, and it looks like it may be tough to make the finances work. Estimated:
Perkins - $4000
Direct Sub - $5,500
Direct Unsub - $2,000
Pell - $2000
TAP - around $2,000</p>

<p>That adds up to around the direct costs of attending. My parents will most likely have to get a PLUS loan of $1,000 and I will need to cover books and living expenses. I do have a summer job lined up so that money will be helping for costs as well. </p>

<p>Fredonia has offered me some additional institution grants that mat help allieviate the costs:
Perkins - $3000
Direct Sub - $5,500
Direct Unsub - $2,000
Pell - $2,000
TAP - $2,000
Emergency grants - $1,800</p>

<p>My parents will most likely also need to get a parent loan for Fredonia as well, but it may be less.</p>

<p>My dilemma is that while the cost difference isn't extreme, it may be harder to finance New Paltz. However, I found myself much more motivated and interested in my classes at New Paltz. I felt the "spark" at New Paltz and I haven't felt that in my classes in Fredonia. Also, I have some professors I absolutely loved in New Paltz. Fredonia has been fun and I still have academic opportunities, but I feel more confined in what I can study here. I do still have three semesters left. I'd like to enjoy my time left in college but I'm also very concerned with debt. </p>

<p>Currently I have around $14k in debt all together. My parents gave a total debt of $2,100 from the past two semesters. </p>

<p>Sorry this is so incredibly long. Any input would be appreciated! Thank you for reading.</p>

<p>Frankly, since you qualify for Pell, that means your family is lowish income. It really is in everyone's best interest to minimize the need for your parents to take out Plus loans. Their debt may not seem like much, but for a low income family to have to end up with $4k-6k in Plus loans is not a good.</p>

<p>*Currently I have around $14k in debt all together. My parents gave a total debt of $2,100 from the past two semesters. </p>

<p>*
Can you clarify.....How much of your parents' debt is from New Paltz and how much is from Fredonia? </p>

<p>I think that no matter where you go, you need to earn as much as you can over the summer to minimize your parents' debt. </p>

<p>Were you awarded any work-study? Can you call your schools and ask if some can be awarded? Do you work during the school year?</p>

<p>Do you have any younger siblings who will be going to college at some point?</p>

<p>Sorry for the late reply. I've been focusing on finals!</p>

<p>I do think that my parent's debt may be too much to handle. At New Paltz I did not need any parent loans. All the parent loans were from this school year for Fredonia. It was over 2 semesters.</p>

<p>I do have a summer job lined up. I'm hoping to earn around 1,000 over the summer. I will also be completing an unpaid internship so I don't think I will be able to get a second job. It looks like I would need to get a parent loan at either school. My financial aid won't cover anything more than direct costs.</p>

<p>Technically I do qualify for workstudy but I'm on the waiting list at both schools for it. This semester I tried finding a job on campus but I wasn't successful. All other semesters I had an on campus job (both workstudy and nonworkstudy at new paltz).</p>

<p>Unfortunately I do not have any siblings so that won't get me any more aid.</p>